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The mundane experience of everyday calorie trackers: Beyond the metaphor of Quantified Self

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journal contribution
posted on 14.03.2017, 10:03 by Gabija Didziokaite, Paula Saukko, Christian Greiffenhagen
In this article, we build on the work of Ruckenstein and Pantzar (2015), who have demonstrated how our understanding of self-tracking has been influenced by the metaphor of the Quantified Self (QS). To complicate this very selective picture of self-tracking, we shift the focus in understanding self-tracking from members of the QS community to the experiences of ‘ordinary man and woman’ (Bakardjieva and Smith, 2001). We, therefore, interviewed ‘everyday calorie trackers’, people who had themselves started using MyFitnessPal calorie counting app but were not part of any tracking community. Our analysis identifies three main themes – goals, use and effect – which highlight the mundane side of self-tracking, where people pursuing everyday, limited goals engage in basic self-tracking and achieve temporary changes. These experiences contrast with the account of self-tracking in terms of long-term, experimental analysis of data on the self or ‘biohacking,’ which dominates the QS metaphor in the academic literature.

History

School

  • Social Sciences

Department

  • Communication, Media, Social and Policy Studies

Published in

New Media and Society

Volume

20

Issue

4

Pages

1470-1487

Citation

DIDZIOKAITE, G., SAUKKO, P. and GREIFFENHAGEN, C., 2017. The mundane experience of everyday calorie trackers: Beyond the metaphor of Quantified Self. New Media and Society, 20 (4), pp.1470-1487.

Publisher

© The Authors. Published by SAGE Publications (UK and US)

Version

AM (Accepted Manuscript)

Publisher statement

This work is made available according to the conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0) licence. Full details of this licence are available at: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/

Acceptance date

15/02/2017

Publication date

2017-03-24

Notes

This paper was accepted for publication in the journal New Media and Society and the definitive published version is available at https://doi.org/10.1177/1461444817698478

ISSN

1461-7315

Language

en

Exports

Loughborough Publications

Keywords

Exports